The Best 3 Player Board Games (Three Is Not Always a Crowd!)

Zack Downes
Written by
Last update:

For the cost of 3 movies you can have hours upon hours of family fun.

3 player board games are a great way to spend play time with your immediate and extended family and friends.

One of the great things about playing board games is that everyone gets totally engrossed in the game and loses track of time.

Board games are a great way to bring people together, add some fun and a little competitiveness into your family. And the best part is, you might even learn something new.

So if you’re looking for some great family gaming action, here’s some of the best three player board games you can buy.

NameCategoryProduct
CMON Zombicide: Black PlagueBest OverallCMON Zombicide: Black Plague
Isle of SkyeBudget PickIsle of Skye
Tim Fowers Burgle Bros.Upgrade PickTim Fowers Burgle Bros.

1. CMON Zombicide: Black Plague

Our rating: 9 / 10

CMON Zombicide: Black Plague

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Easy to play
  • Scaleable game, meaning it can start small and goes up in difficulty with the players.
  • Tactical, easy to pick up
  • Each game takes at least 1-2 hours to play, making it a good long-form, multi-time-spent game
  • Can play as a solo game
  • Large amount of dismemberment and thrill

Zombicide is a game with a ton of fun secret cards and missions that each person has. There’s also the fact that you can only get two wounds per game, so your death is pretty much going to be filled with agony. You can also save yourself at the last second, though.

The game is rated for ages 12+, 4 players and can be played from 2-6 people. If you’re looking for a great game to play with friends and family, then there’s something for you here—but don’t invite your mother-in-law whom you can’t stand or some of the people you’ve met on Tinder.

2. Blue Orange Games Photosynthesis Board Game

Our rating: 9 / 10

Blue Orange Games Photosynthesis Board Game

Check Price on Amazon

Photosynthesis is a great strategy board game for kids. As the name suggests, the game is designed to promote sustainability of resources. The game board is composed of cards that represent plants and trees, which you manipulate to provide different types of resources.

You’ll get rewarded for creating forests and special species. The goal is to be the player that produces the most food. Pictures on the cards are easy to interpret, and the game is a good choice for players who aren’t able to read.

Each player receives a small house tile, representing his or her starting position on the island. There are also cards for the different animals that roam the island. Each player gets to start with a food symbol card, and a card that belongs to one of the three rows of animal cards.

3. Clank!, Base

Our rating: 9 / 10

Clank!, Base

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • An engaging and easy to learn worker placement game
  • Artwork by Ryan Laukat also found in the City of Iron series of games
  • 2-6 players
  • 60-90 minutes
  • Engineer and build your base
  • Helps develop communication and negotiation skills
  • Tilt the playing board to generate terrain
  • 9 different maps with varying start locations for variety and replayability
  • Great for families with young children and new gamers
  • Fun and challenging

4. Isle of Skye

Our rating: 8 / 10

Isle of Skye

Check Price on Amazon

This game is a lightweight tile-laying game, based on Scotland in the 1st century before the Romans invaded. Players compete to build the most prestigious clan on the isle of Skye by acquiring Clan cards and Grael cards. You use your Grael cards to keep your clan safe. Using them in combination with the clan cards, you can use them for victory points, or earn gold. You earn gold to buy more powerful cards, build monuments, and expand your clan.

Tiles are played as landscape, buildings, or a beast with a number value. There is an expansive project board which tracks your progress, similar to Carcassonne.

Overall, I think this is a game that has a lot of potential, which I see being greatly leveraged in further editions of this game. I give this game a 9/10.

5. Minion Games Dead Men Tell No Tales Strategy Boxed Board Game Ages 12 & Up

Our rating: 8 / 10

Minion Games Dead Men Tell No Tales Strategy Boxed Board Game Ages 12 & Up

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Designed for 3-4 players
  • Fast-paced game of treasure discovery
  • Strategic battle game
  • Great for Captain Jack Sparrow fans
  • Only takes 30-45 minutes
  • Fun for all ages
  • Encourages communication
  • Improves strategic thinking
  • Excellent for reading skills
  • Sailing theme

Looking at the board game industry, it’s obvious that it’s designed for those who enjoy the social aspect of board gaming. But for adults and teens who enjoy being left alone and having more than enough time in their day to relax without thinking about other people hanging around, a board game can feel more like a hindrance than an entertainment medium. So what’s a game master to do? Three-player board games are the best alternative!

With a game designed for three players, you are guaranteed to enjoy your board game experience without having to force someone else to sit down at the table with you and your other friends.

6. Tim Fowers Burgle Bros.

Our rating: 8 / 10

Tim Fowers Burgle Bros.

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Quick setup
  • Engaging and strategic game play
  • High replay value
  • The game scales well from 3-7 players
  • Very fun and lighthearted theme
  • Works great as a family game as well as an adult game
  • Cellar is a great mechanic

Cons:

  • This is similar to many other heist games on the market
  • Theme can be a bit goofy at times

Burgle Bros is a fun game where you try to gain the most loot from a job.

You’re trying to get out of the building before the cops show up. Your fellow robbers could move quickly and snatch up the loot, or they could wait too long, giving you a chance to move.

They could bring dogs to track you down or even call the cops and the police will arrive, making it harder for you to escape.

7. Fuji

Our rating: 8 / 10

Fuji

Check Price on Amazon

Each player has to make a run, in turn, through the slots on the top of the board. You have to both play your tiles and flip over the blank tiles. When you do this, to reduce the risk of getting stuck in the toilet you have a chance to try and play an extra tile on your next turn in the same slot. Play an extra tile in the last slot of a full bathroom, and you’ll get a bonus on your next turn.

The risk-reward system at work in this game will keep you guessing. You may find yourself flipping over tiles and then deciding to play your tile into a tile that’s already in play. This can be particularly enticing, and rewarding, if you’re able to play that tile into a long continuous chain.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can you play pandemic with 3 players?

Yes, Pandemic can be played by only 3 people. You may want to reduce the epidemic cards and the Event cards by half though. If you are playing with 3 players, you should expect the game to take longer than it would if there were 4 players. Having 6 disease cubes in play is going to slow down the progress and leave you with an extended game. To increase the difficulty of Pandemic for 3 players, remove a few of the roles, such as the Scientist and the Reporter. This will make it more difficult for the players to spread the diseases and will add to the stress of the game.

How do you play classic risk with 3 players?

In order to play classic Risk with 3 players, another method must be used. One of the methods is to put your two opponents on opposite team, and you play game with every other player against each other. The other way you can make your classic Risk game work is to play a game of ʤPoker Risk.ʥ In this game, players play cards face down to the table. When it is someoneʼs turn, they destroy any territories that match the color or value of their corresponding card.

What Xbox one games are 3 player?

There are many multi-person Xbox One games that would work great for 3, 4, and 5 players. If you're looking for some to start with, some of our favorite games are (in no particular order):

Grand Theft Auto V – This is the latest edition to the GTA series and is packed full of story driven action, intense fighting scenes, insane gore, and stimulating music. This game offers a lot of action, but it takes some time to do it all.

Fallout 4 – Fallout 4 is the newest instalment in the Fallout series, released on Xbox One, PS4, and PC in November 2015 (Xbox-Only in 2016). Fallout 4 takes place in Boston, 200 years after nuclear war leaves it in shambles. You can explore a vast open-world, complete with different landscapes and animals.

How many players is 7 Wonders?

Seven Wonders is a 2-7 players card game in which you are building your city and are competing with other empires at the same time. There are various game modes with various player counts.

For example, there is a drafting mode (2 players), but it's quite unbalanced. A better mode is two players with an expanded deck, which gives it a better chance for more interesting choices. Then, at the most, you can have a six-player free-for-all where you'll be competing for the best cards on the table.

For more information, check out our full review of 7 Wonders.

Conclusion

We feel confident after thorough research that ours is the best list of top board games for 3 players. We would love to hear your feedback and you can recommend a game not listed here by filling in the contact form.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
CMON Zombicide: Black PlagueBest OverallCMON Zombicide: Black Plague
Isle of SkyeBudget PickIsle of Skye
Tim Fowers Burgle Bros.Upgrade PickTim Fowers Burgle Bros.